Article: Preparing for an Uncertain Future: Redefining the Employee Experience

Employee Engagement

Preparing for an Uncertain Future: Redefining the Employee Experience

In this power-packed panel discussion at SAP HR Connect, leaders from Ashok Leyland, Flipkart, Swiggy, Harbinger Group, and SAP India discussed how leaders could lead the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by redefining employee experience.
Preparing for an Uncertain Future: Redefining the Employee Experience

Today’s workforce is experiencing turbulent and uncertain times. A global health crisis has exacerbated an already dynamic and volatile environment for both workers and companies. However, more than a health crisis, COVID-19 has also set multiple business opportunities, especially when it comes to talent management.  Employees are better treated, there is more focus on trust and transparency, and more and more organizations are investing in creating a supreme experience for its employees.

In his power-packed panel discussion at SAP HR Connect 2020 Virtual Conference, moderated by Uma Rao, VP Human Resources, Ashok Leyland along with Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer, Flipkart, Neville Postwalla, Associate Vice President - Talent Management at Harbinger Group, Girish Menon, Head – Human Resources, Swiggy, Shraddhanjali Rao, Vice President of Human Resources, SAP, India addressed the rules to redefining employee experience in the times of COVID-19.

Here are the key insights from the panel discussion:

Collaboration is the key

“Collaboration among employees is the need of the hour to respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Neville Postwalla, Associate Vice President - Talent Management at Harbinger Group. 

As the coronavirus crisis is spreading at a fast pace, collaboration plays an even more important role today. Indeed, teams' ability to communicate and collaborate will have a direct impact on whether the company will recover from the crisis.

Empathy + Engagement = Experience

Sharing an example from Flipkart’s journey in managing talent in times of uncertainty and when the business has become a lot more important with increasing demands, Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer, Flipkart shares, the primary focus of the company right now is the safety of delivery partners. And hence, the regular conversation in the leadership and the management is about creating a sense of awareness not only around employees’ physical safety but also their mental wellness.

Acknowledging the wellness aspect has prompted Flipkart to come up with various programs that is helping employees to trust the management, leading to better engagement.

Not only communication but listening is critical too

Employers need to clearly communicate their expectations towards their employees while working from home to avoid misunderstandings and missed deadlines.

One of the most critical points shared when it comes to creating a great experience for employees, especially when the entire workforce is working remotely is that, listening to them. Shraddhanjali Rao, Vice President of Human Resources, SAP, India shared that the company conducted a survey and listened to their employees’ challenges, acknowledge their sentiments, and communicate more with them.”

In times of crisis, as we are experiencing now, employers and employees need to feel confident and support each other while maintaining a team spirit as this will determine the long term engagement and productivity of the company.

High tech vs. low touch

The role of a strong technology core is not limited to enhancing the remote work environment. The accelerated growth of technological transformation across industries prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has presented organizations with a silver lining in the form of the motivation they needed to devote resources to digitally enhance their operations and processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the hardest challenges our race has had to face in recent times. Organizations that can focus on moving in the right direction in these tough times will emerge stronger than ever. By adopting the right technology, a supportive organizational mindset to bring about change, and a structured approach to strategy formulation, forward-looking businesses stand on the verge of an organizational coup: Realizing the future of work that has for so long only existed in board room discussions and whitepapers.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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